Conservation project at beach and dunes in Skegness criticised

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News

A valuable conservation site in Skegness will be actively managed for the first time after funding of £42,290 was secured from Natural England.

The money will enable the beach and dunes at Seacroft Marsh to be restored over the next 10 years. The area, extending south from Princess Parade car park, is part of Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

East Lindsey District Council will oversee the work involving removing buckthorn plant on 7.3 hectares of the outer dunes which will be re-covered by dune grasses.

However, the plans have been criticised by local resident and conservation volunteer Tom Savage who lives next to the site on Seafront Road.

Mr Savage said: “There is no doubt that this action will completely change the character of the whole site.

“Over the past decade a substantial amount of Sea Buckthorn has already been lost as the outer dunes have been eroded by the sea 
and what remains provides very important habitat 
which is essential to 
maintain the existing 
wide biodiversity.”

Environment portfolio holder Coun Steve O’Dare said: “As the council is responsible for managing this area, it has a legal duty to protect and enhance the features of the site, which have sadly declined in recent decades because of increasing and dense scrub that shades out other sand dune plants.

“Restoring it to typical grass covered dunes is a high priority for the Government’s nature conservation advisors, Natural England, and the council has to undertake the work that is planned to meet the Natural England requirements.”